Below are some safety advice/tips that you should follow to always stay safe on the road.

Discard distractions completely

Cell phones and texting while driving have well-documented safety issues. Taking your eyes off the road for even a moment means driving a lot without seeing what’s happening around you.

Today, many phones come with driving mode, which will keep your phone from notifying you of incoming calls when you drive. Setting your phone on driving mode is a good way to start. However, you should mind other possible distractions, such as eating, drinking, drinking, talking to passengers, or paying attention to pets when you’re driving.

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Don't forget the Shoulder Check

Whenever you are changing lanes, you almost always look to the side-view and rearview mirrors to locate traffic before continuing. But it can be dangerous to rely only on the mirrors in this way.

Because of blind spots on the sides of the car, side-view mirrors can’t show a vehicle and motorcycle seen in your home’s blind spots.

Shoulder checks will help you avoid an accident by not getting into a roadway which is occupied by traffic. Don’t forget to do the shoulder check!

 

Wear a Seatbelt, Always

When seated in your vehicle, drawing the lap and shoulder belt down as you sit should be second nature by now. Ride with a seat belt prior to taking your motor vehicle for a spin. Soon enough, you will most likely without thinking – strap the belt on.

By fastening your seat belts, you lower your risk of a fatal accident in a motor vehicle accident by about 45% and minimize the chance of minor to serious trauma by 50%, according to NHTSA. Buckle up your safety belt in a light truck, and your risk of deadly injury is reduced by 60% and of moderate or serious trauma by 65%.

By wearing a seat belt while driving, you prevent the risk of landing a traffic ticket that could skyrocket to as high as $179. 

Substances that impair driving should be avoided.

Of course, one shouldn’t drink and drive or engage in drugs or make oneself lose consciousness and drive. Look beyond the obvious as well. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that a comparison of prescription and OTC medicines can indicate adverse side effects that might make it unsafe to drive.

The effects include:
-sleepiness/drowsiness
-blurred vision
-dizziness
-slowed movement
-fainting
-inability to focus or pay -attention
-nausea
-excitability.

The FDA specifically warns about:

-opioid pain relievers
-prescription drugs for anxiety (for example, benzodiazepines)
-antiseizure drugs (antiepileptic drugs)
-antipsychotic drugs
-some antidepressants
-products containing codeine
-some over-the-counter cold remedies and allergy products, such as antihistamines
-sleeping pills
-muscle relaxants
-medicines that treat or control symptoms of diarrhea
-medicines that treat or prevent symptoms of motion sickness
-diet pills, “stay awake” drugs, and other medications with stimulants (e.g., caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine).

 

Drive When Alert and Well Rested

Drugs and other stimulants such as caffeine could be part of your driving routine, but doing it wrong can put you at risk.

Impaired driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. The risk involved in being sleepy is that it can be difficult to recognize traffic hazards when you are struggling to keep your eyes open. When you do not get the signal that you will be unable to keep your eyes open, you are at a greater risk for an accident.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, their Sleep in America poll found that 60% of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and 37% admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel in the prior year.

It’s particularly dangerous to drive during the late evening or while sleeping. You may be more prone to falling asleep when driving during these hours.

Getting a good night’s sleep really matters before heading off on a trip, whether it’s a short round around town, running errands nearby, or a long drive.

A typical adult needs between 7 and nine hours of rest each night, based on those from the Sleep Foundation. Teens should sleep even more so they can develop and mature. Older people should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night.

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